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HomeOpinionNewsmaker of the WeekWhen Jai Shri Ram became a political tool to heckle Muslim MPs,...

When Jai Shri Ram became a political tool to heckle Muslim MPs, it lost something

The oath-taking ceremony in the Lok Sabha turned into a sloganeering contest between MPs of various parties.

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Jai Shri Ram. A religious chant in praise of a Hindu god and a variant of a largely north Indian way of greeting “Ram-Ram” or “Jai Siya Ram” lost much of its benign history this week during the oath-taking of newly elected Lok Sabha MPs.

It was used as a political slogan in Parliament at the arrival of Muslim MPs, mainly to heckle them. In April this year, the greeting was heard at a site where a tribal, accused of cow slaughter, was lynched. It is now a forceful assertion of Hindu supremacy in an India, which wants to say at every turn that it is now ruled by the BJP’s self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi.

Monday and Tuesday’s oath-taking ceremony in Lok Sabha became a sloganeering contest with members chanting the name of gods or inspirational figures as per their preference.

The BJP MPs chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ as AIMIM’s MP from Hyderabad, Asaduddin Owaisi, walked up to take oath. Owaisi, undeterred by the sloganeering, concluded his oath speech, which he delivered in Urdu, by chanting Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Takbeer Allahu Akbar, Jai Hind.

Also read: Newly elected BJP MP Arjun Singh says party will send 10 lakh ‘Jai Shri Ram’ post cards to Mamata

Outside Parliament, Owaisi spoke to the reporters about the heckling, and said: “I think, it is good that they remember such things after seeing me. I hope they remember our Constitution and the deaths of children in Muzaffarpur as well. I will keep an eye on them.”

On the first day of the 17th Lok Sabha, 320 MPs took oath, while 200 MPs took oath on the second day.

BJP’s Unnao MP Sakhi Maharaj took the oath in Sanskrit and concluded his speech with ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Jai Shri Ram’. Members cheered and thumped the desks as Sakshi Maharaj signed the register. One of the MPs shouted ‘mandir wahin banayenge’, which was followed by laughter from the benches. 

As the day progressed, it became a test of who could chant more slogans and do it louder than the rest. Locket Chatterjee of the BJP chanted Jai Shri Ram, Jai Maa Durga, Jai Maa Kali, Bharat Mata Ki Jai – with her pitch, and her hands, rising in force with each slogan.

Also read: Om Birla, the new Lok Sabha Speaker has RSS roots and was part of Ram temple movement

Pro-tem speaker Virendra Kumar repeatedly asked MPs to desist from sloganeering. He called out a DMK MP’s act of hailing Periyar, Kaliangar and Ambedkar, and ordered only the part of the speech that is in line with the prescribed format be recorded.

Wednesday, newly elected Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla said he won’t allow the chanting of religious slogans inside the House again, adding that there are prescribed spaces for members to hold placard and protest in the manner they want.

If the start of the new Lok Sabha is any indication, Jai Shri Ram will continue to make headlines over the next five years of the Narendra Modi-led BJP regime, which is back in the Lok Sabha with a much bigger mandate than the last time. 

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  1. Got it…chanting Jai Shree Ram and Bharat Mata ki Jai inside the Indian parliament is very provocative and somehow like demolishing the constitution..😊

  2. As a child, mother would pat me to sleep with a gentle Ramji Ram. So when our Ananya was born, those are the words with which I would stroke her golden curls. Now that is her call sign when she phones from Singapore. For Jai Shri Ram to become a defiant, belligerent, threatening assertion of religious identity, posited against a non believer, is the antithesis of what our Lord Ram, the man of unblemished virtue stood for.

    • Well said. I guess Ramji Ram is fine, but not Jai Shri Ram.

      In all this mess, curiously, Krishna, who is a much more internship God, has completely disappeared.

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